Bandipora: Gujjars hold protest against army

BANDIPORA: Members of the Gujjar community Friday held a protest demonstration against army for allegedly stopping them from migrating towards highland pastures in Gurez.
Hundreds of Gujjar protestors from Malan Gaam, Turkipora, Chandaji, Chuk of Bandipora assembled at the Block Development Complex and protested against army diktats. Protestors said that their economy depends on animals but army is not allowing them to move towards the grazing pastures locally called Bahki situated in Ganpathri, Nanipost, Begtore, Hajibal, Shalipathri.
More than 250 Gujjar families regularly move along with their 20,000 cattle to these green pastures.
A protestor Gulab Khan said, “We have been moving to these highland pastures since ages. On these pastures our survival is depended as our animals graze there for more than six months.” He said, “Our cattle are starving as there are no grazing land available for them.”
The protesters said that army told them that they will allow their movement to these pastures only after they get permission from the officials of the Northern command.
They said if the army did not allow animals to move towards green pasture it will prove costly for their livelihood.
They appealed authorities to interfere in this matter and allow them to move towards these pastures.